Fr. Edward Looney: How the Wisconsin Apparition Can Revive Belief in the Eucharist

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By Fr. Edward Looney, Catholic Exchange, September 19, 2019

Fr. Edward LooneyCatholic commentators have been addressing the recent Pew Research survey results which indicate an alarming number of Catholics do not believe in the real presence of the Eucharist. Eucharistic belief has declined, not only in belief but also in participation.

Many people have suggested approaches at how the Church can address this issue. I’d like to offer my own thoughts, especially in light of Mary’s apparition in Champion, Wisconsin to Adele Brise in 1859. Other apparitions of Our Lady also emphasize Eucharistic belief, from the request to build a church in Guadalupe or Lourdes (in which Mass will be celebrated and the Blessed Sacrament housed) to prayers for reparation in Fatima. The circumstances of the Champion apparition and the message seem pertinent to this part of the Church’s history. 

Skipping Sunday Mass

At La Salette in 1846, Our Lady commented to the two seers about people not fulfilling their Sunday obligation. The same was true in the place where the Belgians were settling in Wisconsin. A letter from a diocesan priest to another clergyman in Belgium pleaded for priests to accompany the large waves of immigrant. He remarked that many were falling lackadaisical in the faith and no longer were attending Sunday Mass. 

Sound kind of familiar? Many Catholics today quite regularly skip out on their Sunday obligation because of recreation or sports. Other things have taken priority. If the Church wants to reclaim Eucharistic belief in the real presence, then Sunday Mass must once again become a priority in the lives of Catholics.  ….